Weak Yen propels Nintendo back into profit

Computer games maker Nintendo has announced annual profits for the first time in four years, thanks mainly to the weakness of the yen against the dollar. The creator of Super Mario now plans to double profits next year by entering the mobile gaming industry and a deal to create theme park rides based on Nintendo games and characters.

The Japanese company announced operating profits of 24.8 billion yen (€183.5 million), a striking turnaround after recording three consecutive years of losses between 2011-13.

Nintendo credits the upturn on a depreciation of the yen against the dollar with a 34 billion yen (€251 million) foreign exchange gain, as well as cheaper manufacturing costs. Overall sales however fell around 4%.

There are currently around 120 yen to the dollar, up from around 100 a year ago, following a sharp rise between August and December.

Sales of Wii U games consoles are lagging behind rivals' consoles such as the PS4 and XBox 1. According to VG Charts, with the Wii U out a year before its rivals, it has had total sales of only 9.5 million as opposed to Xbox's 12.1 million and PS4's 21.4 million. But Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata announced in March that the company's intentions to move into the mobile games arena, a move he had previously been against for fear of "cannibalizing" Nintendo titles.

Teaming up with Japanese mobile game maker DeNA, Nintendo hopes the venture will bring in over 3 billion yen (€22 million) a month, once games are released next year.

Nintendo are also intending to move into the amusement park business, using its host of popular characters from titles such as Super Mario and Zelda, as inspiration for "spectacular" theme park rides.

It adds that more details will be announced "in the near future" as creative teams from both companies work together to create "specific concepts".

Weak Yen propels Nintendo back into profit | Business